A groundbreaking technique for extracting renewable energy from the oceans has been successful, using a method that mimics the motion of a kite to efficiently harness tidal and ocean currents. This innovative technology is currently providing electricity to the grid in the Faroe Islands. The power generator was developed by Minesto, a Swedish company specializing in marine energy technology. The tidal kite, known as Dragon 12, measures an impressive 12 meters in width and weighs 28 tons. It is tethered to the sea floor in a narrow channel between the islands, allowing it to perform repeated figure-of-eight movements that drive water flow to spin a turbine and generate electricity. While Minesto has not disclosed the exact amount of electricity being produced, estimates suggest it could potentially power around 1,000 homes.
In a statement, Dr Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto, described this production of electricity by the MegaWatt scale powerplant as a significant milestone for his company. He noted that this technology provides powerful and cost-effective energy to the grid while being predictable. This sets the stage for renewable energy expansion in various regions worldwide. The cost of tidal power generation using this system appears lower than other tidal projects and only slightly higher than offshore wind turbines. This affordability combined with ease of deployment and regularity of tidal currents may position this kite as a competitive alternative to offshore wind generation. The future potential for this technology looks promising, and its further development and implementation will be worth monitoring.